Practicing Ecopsychology in Brunei Darussalam: Creating Clay Vessels in Memory of a Disappearing Landscape


Ceramists are generally thought of as studio artists that craft either functional ware (pottery) or nonfunctional ware (fine art/sculpture). Sometimes, if they are a teaching artist working in an art center or university, they might be obliged to be an expert in both of these artistic categories. Martie Geiger-Ho is a teaching artist (senior lecturer) at the University of Brunei Darussalam (UBD), located in the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam on the island of Borneo. Geiger-Ho produced her latest body of work, titled "Vessels that Serve the Earth", out of the need to find solace from the onslaught of development and environmental degradation in Brunei. This paper is an account of how Geiger-Ho used the concepts of ecopsychology to activate her art making activities so that she could recover important links between the gathering of clay from a patchwork of small, shrinking wild sites on and around the campus of UBD while engaging her internal desire to create work that could help to salvage something positive from the damaged landscape. By taking photographs of the remaining intact areas and using materials from the earth that she could fashion into vessels that reflect the spirit and landscape forms found in the degraded ecosystems at her university, Geiger-Ho has been able to comfort her own battered psyche while bringing her art students closer to understanding the importance of their own environmental heritage.

Author Information
Martie Geiger-Ho, University of Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2015
Stream: Arts - Visual Arts Practices

This paper is part of the ACAH2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon